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Karin Krog

Karin Krog Quartet
(Pizza Express, Dean Street, September 23rd 2010, part of “Georgia Mancio presents..)

Let’s try out a theory. People from cold climates have warm temperaments. The sample size on which the theory is based is just one person, Karin Krog. But I’d call last night’s evidence to support the theory totally overwhelming.

What Krog communicates from the bandstand, to other musicians and to the audience is a quite extraordinary level of likeability and humanity, in every gesture and every phrase. She had only met the top London trio of Ross Stanley on Steinway, Mark Hodgson on bass (strong, measured) and Dave Ohm for an hour and a half to rehearse, but what I picked up was total command, an ease and joy in communication. Krog has had a continuous and distinguished career ever since the mid-1960’s. These days she sings judiciously chosen, unfailingly interesting songs, which she owns completely. There’s a few on the CD pictured above. This was a happy gig. The club should have been completely full.

Stanley was a joy throughout, abundant colour, fantasy, unfailing interest in the line. Hodgson and Ohm were blending and matching and communicating perfectly.

I only heard the last few numbers. But it seemed to get better and better. And in one respect in particular. The last two numbers were Ray Charles’ “Don’t Let the Sun Catch You Cryin’ ” and Miles Davis’ “All Blues” had her reaching for the lower range of her instrument which extends comfortably down to the E below middle C. There is only one word I can find for the opulent, gorgeous, full, blooming, smile-bringing, life-enhancing, tropical sound she produces down there.
Warmth.

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